The family and I went to Portland last Saturday to volunteer in the Q Center’s Library. We were there for several hours, so of course in the middle of our time we needed food. Fortunately for us, a little collection of Portland’s fantastic food cards could be found about a block away. It was raining, and cold–but that describes the majority of days in Portland, and we don’t let a little thing like rain and 40 degree weather stop us from enjoying the delicious offerings of an outdoor dining establishment.
Some of you know I lived in New Orleans for a while. I hated New Orleans–the heat, the humidity, the sexual harassment, the cockroaches the size of sewer rats. But New Orleans was a mighty fine city in which to find something to eat, and the one thing I miss about it is the Beignets. Beignets are, essentially, little pillows of fried dough with a huge mound of powdered sugar dumped on top. There’s a trick to eating them. You have to hold your breath while you take a bite, or you will inhale powdered sugar, then choke, and your choking will blast powdered sugar all over the table and your clothes, making the scene look like a coke deal gone horribly, horribly wrong. So, this place had beignets, and they weren’t quite as wonderful as the ones at Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter, but they weren’t half bad. I also had an amazing egg benedict thing with a crazy beer cheese sauce that was absurdly rich and delicious and y’all, I ate the whole thing. All of it. And I felt no guilt.
Of course while we were waiting for our delicious food in little cardboard boxes, I had to wander around with the iPhone and take pictures of . . . wait for it . . . trees and flowers.
While the temperatures are still cold cold cold, and it’s still raining constantly, it’s Spring in Oregon. We know because of the flowers.
They are everywhere. The flowering trees are probably my favorite thing in the plant world–especially the ones that bloom early, like the cherries and plums and magnolias. I love the way the dark, gnarled bark contrasts with the delicate flowers. It’s like seeing a bent old man turn into a girl in a lace dress. Magic!